Crown Prince Sado

The first of the KCCUK’s “Teaser Screenings” for the London Korean Film Festival 2016 took place on Monday in the presence of Director Lee Joon-ik and the recently-arrived Korean ambassador. The chosen film was The Throne (사도) – a movie which was #5 in the 2015 Korean box office and deals with an incident in […]

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Event news: Lee Joon-ik’s The Throne screens at Regent St Cinema

by Events Editor 20 March 2016
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Returning to the period movie genre that made him famous, Lee Joon-ik’s 2014 The Throne explores the life and death of Crown Prince Sado. As homework, you are strongly encouraged to read the memoirs of Sado’s wife, Lady Hyegyong, failing which Margaret Drabble’s The Red Queen, for a version of his life with which to […]

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Bought for £10 from a Parisian cheese merchant, Lady Hyegyong’s Uigwe is now digitised

by Philip Gowman 9 June 2013
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The Joseon court knew how to document things. And one of those court records, recently digitised and put online by the British Library, shows they also knew how to celebrate. The Uigwe – The Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty – were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2006. In its […]

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A historical mystery that’s well worth a look

by Philip Gowman 15 February 2010
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Eternal Empire (1995) – a nice-looking costume drama about murder and court intrigue in the Yi dynasty soon after the death of Prince Sado. One of Darcy’s top 10 K-films of the 90s. Not one of mine, but well worth a look. Does a secret royal commentary on the Confucian Classics contain heavily coded political […]

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Margaret Drabble’s search for the Crown Princess

by Jennifer Barclay 4 November 2009
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Jennifer Barclay, author of MEETING MR KIM: OR HOW I WENT TO KOREA AND LEARNED TO LOVE KIMCHI, reports from the Korean Cultural Centre on Dame Margaret Drabble’s lecture based on her novel THE RED QUEEN Dame Margaret Drabble, CBE DBE, looks elegant with her hair in a natural bob and a touch of red […]

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Margaret Drabble: the search for the Crown Princess

by Events Editor 20 September 2009
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A couple of years ago at the BAKS conference Margaret Drabble gave a fascinating talk about how she came to be captivated by the story of Lady Hyegyong, wife of Prince Sado. Sado was son of a king and father of a king, but never made it to the throne himself. Lady Hyegyong wrote her […]

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The Shining Fortress part 2: its remarkable story.

by Matthew Jackson 7 August 2009
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by Matthew Jackson The story which surrounds the building of the Hwaseong fortress is an extraordinary one. The fortress was originally built as part of the new Suwon city, a project initiated by King Chongjo. King Chongjo (or King Jeongjo, depending on your preferred romanization) had been greatly devoted to his father, Sado Seja, who […]

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The LKL Korea Trip 2009 pt 2: Suwon and Prince Sado’s tomb

by Philip Gowman 23 July 2009
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Thursday 16 July Today the plan is to get a few UNESCO world heritage points: the Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon, followed maybe by the nearby folk village. From my base in Insadong, a one-hour tube journey direct from Jonggak station on Line 1 takes me to Suwon, armed with my guide books. A moment of […]

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Conference report: the 2006 BAKS conference

by Philip Gowman 11 September 2006
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The BAKS conference in Sheffield last week had a broad range of speakers. What follows is a personal response to the proceedings, and isn’t meant to be in any way an official account. I apologise to those speakers to whom I devote fewer words. No disrespect is intended. In any occasion like this, some talks […]

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Jahyun Kim Haboush (tr): Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong

by Philip Gowman 17 April 2006

(California UP, 1995) The style of this takes a bit of getting used to (and this is attributable to the original author, not the translator), but the content is gripping. This is the autobiographical writings of a Korean crown princess – wife of the heir to the throne – and documents at first hand the […]

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Margaret Drabble: The Red Queen

by Philip Gowman 8 April 2006

(Penguin, 2005) Inspired by the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong. The first half is a re-telling of the original story with the benefit of an additional 200 years’ hindsight; the second half is set in modern times, in a story which echoes some of the themes of the original. The only part which stretches the credulity […]

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